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The real March Madness: BG-SU cuts faculty, amazingly still has $2 mill for new hoops coach

Just this past week, faculty at BGSU my fine university were given pink slips.  Not for poor performance; it’s part of Mary Ellen Mazey our august university president’s campaign to cut full-time faculty.  Last year, 72 faculty; this year, another 30.  Why?  The usual jumble of explanations that administrations give, sometimes based upon enrollment, other times on finances, other times on phase of the moon.  Meanwhile, yesterday BGSU my fine university announced the hiring of a new basketball coach, Chris Jans, previously an assistant coach for Wichita State, for a six-year, $325K-a-year deal, and who knows what additional incentives.  This despite the fact that that the previous coach made $200k, and BGSU my fine university’s men’s basketball team last went to the NCAA tournament around the year the new coach was born.  If BGSU my fine university’s men’s basketball team were an academic program with the same success rate, it would have been cut a long time ago.  This is on top of a new football coaching hire a few months back, also paying the new coach more than the old one, rather than starting someone at a much lower salary, as happens for professors.

I don’t resent the coaches.  If someone offered me the money, I’d take it.  I know several of BGSU my fine university’s coaches personally, and they value education, try to do right by their players, and are wonderful human beings.  Furthermore, most of them don’t make the big bucks, don’t have much in the way of job security, and many have spent years of their lives as an assistant; the life of an assistant coaches in most sports is especially tenuous.  Coaches themselves are usually not the problem.  Administrators who give them big money while claiming poverty for the university’s primary mission, that’s another story.

When BGSU my fine university make claims not to be able to afford faculty, that’s not merely inaccurate, or an interpretation of finances.  It’s a bald-faced lie.